Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I'd Like to Complain about the Complainers . . .

"Do everything without complaining or arguing
so that you may become blameless and pure,
children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation,
in which you shine like stars in the universe."
Philippians 2:14-15

    To obey this verse from Philippians means we have to address the complaining spirits within us. Here is a dictionary definition for "complain."
To complain: 1.Express dissatisfaction or annoyance about a state of affairs or an event.

     I don't mean to complain, but don't some people consider it their God-given right, their duty, to complain?  Can't say where that idea originated but it wasn't the Bible.  From jail, Paul wrote believers to tell them to stop complaining - to never complain  -to do everything without complaining.  Is that possible?  Aren't we hypocritical if we're dissatisfied and annoyed but act as if everything's peachy-keen?  Yes.
     The last thing God wants us to do is to wear a mask over our sin and negativity. He calls us to humbly confess our sin and despises the artificiality of masks, wolves in sheep's skins and the saccharine sweet words of flatterers.  He knows these tactics don't work or only work for a while before the truth is revealed. 
     And what do we know? That putting a lid on our frustration and anger can only make things worse for somebody somewhere down the road. So, if we're not to live a complaining, argumentative life, but we must be honest, what's the answer to this dilemma?
     A pure character.  God sets the goal of "blameless and pure" before us. The grateful heart is too busy thanking God to complain to others.  The heart growing in love for God has difficulty practicing anger as a lifestyle.  As it turns out, constant complaining and a readiness to argue remove any masks of spiritual maturity and clarify our character for other people.  

Father, shut our mouths before we start our complaining and arguing. Shut our mouths and scrub our hearts.  Fill us with gratitude and praise for all the good gifts You give us every day, moment by moment. Bless You, Lord, for putting up with us!
In the Name of Jesus, the Lamb silent before the slaughter  



  1. My husband has a sermon illustration that I absolutely love and what you say here brings it to mind . . .

    Pastor preached a sermon on the "Ten Talents" (which doesn't, of course, refer to "TALENT" per se, and one crochety old guy in the congregation came up to him when church was over and said, "Preacher, I don't have but one talent. It's the gift of criticizing. I can criticize your clothes and your sermons and your wife and your children, and pretty much everything you do. What should I do with my talent?"

    Preacher thought a minute and looked the man straight in the eye and said, "You should do exactly what the man in the Bible who had only one talent . . . go and bury it in the ground."

    I'm getting old and don't remember things "exactly", but this is close enough :)

  2. Good point, Claire!

    Robin, this is a wonderful post, and so needful. It reminds me of something I heard many years ago. When I'm pointing my finger at someone, I have three more fingers pointed back at me!